It was a long time ago but a year that everyone will always remember. The events of September Eleven were not yet a reality and it seemed like an innocent time looking back at it now. I was standing at this spot under Bridal Falls wearing a suit. Waiting with a few friends and my brother. It’s way past the scheduled time and I nervously dragged on yet another cigarette. There were a few jokes. “Is she going to show up?” Followed by some nervous laughter. It was a grey day but the rain and must have this moment a magical quality.
Go into the history
We had met the August before. A friend of mine was seeing her sister and was going to go and spend some time down there with her. I had just finished my first season of tree planting and had lost the weight put on during my previous relationship. I had a renewed outlook on life and was brimming with confidence. My friend had tried to set her up with a different friend but that was disastrous and she kicked his advances to the curb.
When we got there after a long four hour drive she was still at work and we waited for her at this bar. We were in the States and her sister whom my friend was seeing, was fun and a bit crazy with this southern belle air about her. When she walked in the one I was supposed to meet it was like a vision or sign I was waiting for.
She inadvertently stopped under a pot light in the ceiling which showered light down upon her black hair and the simple jeans and white t-shirt she was wearing. It was probably then that I experienced love at first sight. We promptly set about introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. I passed through her defenses with charm and grace and I think we felt something that very first night we met.
As the months and weeks continued we spent a lot of time talking on the phone and traveling to see each other. It was a long distance relationship and our young selves desired to be with each other. It became clear that we should either end it or be together somehow for ever. There was really no other choice but to try the latter.
We had grown close very quickly and emotions clouded any rational reality. Reason was a slave to the passions that raged like wild storms of the Pacific north west. On Valentine’s Day I set off with a ring I picked out in a pawn shop that was symbolic of the romantic feelings that have swept over me. By this point I had dropped out of uni and moved into new digs and then promptly moved out after a disasterous work experience. I was somewhat unemployed and living back with my folks. That didn’t matter though as what filled me inside were feelings beyond description and me outlook was extremely positive.
About three hours into my drive on the interstate there was a loud explosion and smoke that shook the car. All of a sudden there was no power and momentum was the only thing carrying me forward. It was dusk and luckily there were no other cars beside me allowing me to cross three lanes and pull over to the side. I was on my way to propose and I remember thinking is this a sign of what’s to come or is it an obstacle to overcome. I sat there for an hour thinking about what to do. There were no cellphones then. No way to message or get in contact with anyone. I was hoping that a friendly trooper would pull over and ask me how I’m doing. No one stopped.
Eventually I got out of me car and climbed the embankment with my stuff in tow leaving the car behind. The engine had blown and to fix it would take a massive infusion of cash that just wasn’t worth it. I called her up and she came to pick me up. That night as we snuggled on her single bed we made the commitment to formally bond.
When I told my parents they weren’t happy but they had no choice but to accept. It was roughly four weeks from the time of the proposal to this moment now with me standing in this forest waiting for my bride to be to emerge and walk down the aisle of this forest in order for us to join in matrimony.
When she emerged she looked radiant in her simple gown with a crown of flowers on her head. She was like a forest nymph, an enchanting spirit that puts you in a spell. It was a magical moment that felt like the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The celebration that followed was a blur. It was a tiny wedding with only a few close select friends and family attending.
We had one night in Vancouver as a honeymoon. I remember I got a weird fever and spent some of the time in bed fighting the shivers and the headache that came with it. Over the course of the next year we moved in together and I managed to secure her a visa so that she could work in Canada. In retrospect there were signs of trouble in the relationship. We were much to young to figure out how to deal with them. I made some decisions that weren’t good for “us” and she made the decision to end it. It broke my heart. I was numb for a long long time. I channeled that energy into positive endeavors but it hindered my emotions and trust with relationships.
That year the whole world changed. In the subsequent years I’ve come to terms with the consequences and have sought to find someone new to have these same feelings towards. I wanted to forget the pain so that when I get another shot it would be new like it was back then.